When your child was a baby, it was hard to image there would ever be a gap in your relationship.
As kids grow up they physically grow away. They stop nursing or bottle feeding. They crawl and then they run… usually away from mom and dad.
Unintentionally we may push our kids further away by some of the things we do or say. Unkind words and deeds separate us from those we love. If you feel as if there is an emotional division in your relationship you may want to implement these 7 items to draw your kids back.
7 Ways to Bridge the Relationship Gap with Your Teen
- Humility. Pride divides. Humility draws us close. Own your mistakes. Allow your child to see your humanity and imperfection. When we can be real with our kids, they have the freedom to be real with us.
- Help. Be available to help without taking over. “Would you like some help?” or “How can I help?” Always ask before jumping in. Remember a helper takes direction, he doesn’t give it.
- Honor. Honor your young person by being respectful, even when, especially when he is not. “I treat you with respect, I expect respect in return.” Honor him by keeping your word and holding a confidence (unless it has to do with safety issues or suicide).
- Humor. Don’t take life so seriously. Be able to laugh at yourself. Enjoy a good belly laugh with your teen. Laughter draws people together.
- History. Recall and recount fond family memories. Even older kids like to hear stories of when they were young.
- Hang out. Spend time together. Talk. (By talk I mean listen.) Let your child teach you something.
- Hobby. Do a project together. Working together bonds individuals.
If you have noticed your young person pulling away, don’t freak out. The separation is developmentally typical. But the gap doesn’t have to be gaping. You can draw them closer by implementing these 7 things.
What else would you add to the list?
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
By Lori Wildenberg
Wife to Tom, mom of 4 plus one daughter-in-love
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
Co-author of 3 parenting books, national speaker, licensed parent-family educator
Lori is currently scheduling her speaking engagements for the 2016-17 school year. Contact her for more information or to schedule her for your next event.
Lori also provides parent consulting. Contact her to schedule an appointment.
If you liked this post you will want to pick up Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love over at Amazon or your favorite Christian bookstore.